Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations To The President-Elect

It appears at this point, 10:15 PM EST, that Mr. Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. For what it's worth, I offer him my congratulations. Let no one call me a sore loser!

We Republicans need to do a lot of soul-searching, and reestablish priorities. Hopefully, we will learn our lessons, and come back in 4 years with viable, electable candidates. This election was lost due in no small part to Republican intransigence on a number of issues, and their pandering to the ultraconservative wing (as opposed to pandering to groups that add up to a majority of the electorate!) In the last weeks of the campaign, Mr. McCain (finally) did an admirable job of getting his message across, but it was too little, too late. He could not compete against the financial crisis, the hatred of Mr. Bush, the adulation of Mr. Obama, and the juggernaut that is the Obama organization.

Mr. Obama's campaign was the best-run in the history of this country. It appealed to the Democratic base, as well as a huge sector of the dissatisfied citizens. They embraced every aspect of technology, from YouTube to text messaging. (I still get texts from the campaign, having signed up to find out Mr. Obama's VP pick.) The GOTV drives, the enfranchisement of minority voters can only be considered a good thing for the future. However, it cannot be denied that the media was totally behind Mr. Obama's candidacy, with all that entails.

I must admit that I still have significant misgivings as to how Mr. Obama will perform. I think no one here believes that the tax increases will be limited to the Clinton era levels for those making over $250,000. Where that ends up no one can even guess. Therefore, I am cutting my spending to the bone. No expensive vacations, no new cars, no purchase that isn't absolutely necessary. And after I fulfill the pledges I have already made, all my charitable giving is on hold.

I am still quite concerned that we are not getting in Mr. Obama what we think. I remain worried about the level of adoration, especially for someone with a very thin resume. I worry that Mr. Obama promised too many things to too many people to begin to fulfill many of them. Many of Mr. Obama's programs will not be enacted. The middle class will not benefit as much as many expect. I do hope and pray that he will be as pragmatic as many declare him to be. I'll also pray for him to be granted wisdom, empathy, and understanding, and maybe a significant shift to the right.

And I will pray for the nation as well. Let us pat each other on the back, and go on with our lives. Let the celebrations be civil, and the pity-parties few. Let no one feel disenfranchised, and no one feel entitled by tonight's results.

The overall raw vote at this point is nearly evenly divided, but because of the wisdom (or lack thereof?) of the founding fathers, the electoral vote will be much more skewed. Still, this means that at least half of our fellow citizens believe that Mr. Obama was the better choice. Did they do so out of love for their country? Were they so disgusted with the present administration that they wanted someone, anyone, as different from the Republicans as possible? Did they do so out of racial guilt or pride? Did they do so because they thought they would be financially rewarded? Historians will be analyzing this for the next hundred years, and beyond. Probably, we'll never know.

We all need to keep in mind that CHANGE can be good or bad. Let us pray tonight for it to be good.

EPILOGUE

In jest, I posted "DALAI FOR PRESIDENT 2012....ummmm 2016?" on on the congratulatory AuntMinnie.com thread. A few folks came back cheering, suggesting I run with MISTRAD, another conservative character (who is far better spoken than I could hope to be.) Hmmmm.. Dalai/Misty? Maybe the better choice would be Misty/Dalai! Nahhh.. I'm not cut out for politics. I come across OK when I can sit back and type (and retype and re-re-type) my thoughts. I suppose I could be trained up to sound good with a teleprompter, though.

A more liberal fellow named Thor paid me a complement really that really struck me: ". . .Dalai, if you had written as eloquently as you just did, you might have had a chance to change my vote."

My posts on the topic of Mr. Obama have been borne mostly out of fear. That is an emotion that drives us to be shrill and strident, especially to those who do not share or understand just what it is we are afraid of. I don't have to outline what I was afraid of, nor do I really have to state that I'm not yet convinced my fears were unfounded. Only time will tell.

I watched Mr. McCain's concession speech, as well as Mr. Obama's acceptance speech. Frankly, I had gone to sleep when my wife turned on the TV in the bedroom during the latter. I found myself really, really wanting to believe what I was hearing. And please forgive me, but this quote came to mind as I drifted off again:
"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
I've still got some issues to deal with, obviously. But again, only time will tell, and only time will heal. May God bless America, and especially Mr. Obama. He's going to need it. We're all going to need it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a consistent reader of the Dalai, and have come to depend on its quality content in regards to the PACS community. Your comments are always relevant and insightful. I've been reading your posts over the last year and a half, and have perhaps appropriately recognized you as a consumate thinker and conservative idealogue, always searching for a means to improve the quality of care delivered to our community.
It has been a gratifying experience in reading your blog over the last week.
Your commentary on the media driven societal hero worship and its inherent dangers are consistent with any elevated democratic discussion. You voice many of the concerns of both republicans and democrats regarding Obama's ability to lead.

I especially appreciate your rebuke of the aunt minnie blogger who would attempt to make things personal. Striving to separate ideas from persona is a CONSTANT and NECESSARY preoccupation for all those willing to discuss topics of global importance. I believe that Observation and Analysis are at the heart of the way we deal with illness at a personal and societal level.

I am a bit perplexed for the relative emphasis and attention to Israel and its associated importance in global decision making. I was slightly taken aback at the prayerful mentality; that those invested in an election for McCain should look to God and act with a fullness of forgiveness for those (Obama voters) that neither ask for, or are in need of God's forgiveness. The progress of radiology, I will guess, has largely been informed, much as you have, to the ability to better diagnose the clinical elements of a patient's condtion(s). This has required a diligence and obedience to the physical laws that our human bodies adhere to. To intonate prayer and religious based forgiveness for our country's decision making is slightly juxtaposed to your mission to provide a superior means to the analysis of disease

I've always thought of the conservative movement as one that emodied a sense of "live free or die". Separation of church and state is as critical, as is our right to free speech, to the objective analysis of the problems which plague our nation.
It is apparent that we have a less than adequate national health care system. What's needed is greater discussion on the relevant topics of the day, health care included. The past eight years have been plagued with a lack of transparecy regarding critical thinking. The promise of Obama is not the Moses leading us to the promised land, but of one who will make prudent and informed decisions about the entire citizenry's wellfare. I believe most Americans trusted the decision making ability of Obama vs. that of McCain.

As an Obama voter (not outright supporter) - In response to the questions you raised in your post:
Still, this means that at least half of our fellow citizens believe that Mr. Obama was the better choice.
Did they do so out of love for their country? ---- Most definitely. I don't even pretend to understand if there is pretense behind that question.
Were they so disgusted with the present administration that they wanted someone, anyone, as different from the Republicans as possible? --- People have seen an absolutely incredibly bad model of leadership over the last eight years, of course we wanted, NOT JUST ANYONE, BUT SOMEBODY WITH INTELLIGENCE AND ORGANIZATION. Somebody that could defeat an incumbent political machine (based on religous based groupthink) that has transpired to be taken advantage of, and meanwhile make the one percent of our nation irrationally wealthy.
Did they do so out of racial guilt or pride? ---- we elect the most intelligent candidate available.
Did they do so because they thought they would be financially rewarded? --- Only if they make over $250,000 a year. Ask the nearest tech if it bothers him or her that a radiologist pays more in taxes than s/he makes in a year. The proportion of wealth in our country is far too skewed. Millions of middle class Americans have adapted a lifestyle beyond their means to raise thereselves in approximation to the top one percent.

Your analysis is ever pertinent, and however I may disagree with your political leaning, I always appreciate your insight.

Apologies if I haven't regarded all your statements, or have misinterpreted your views. I am a big fan of the blog and wish you continued success!!
Thank you.